Virtual Console Roundup • Page 5

64-carat gold.

Gain Ground

  • Platform: Megadrive
  • Wii Points: 800

If there's one thing the VC can be applauded for, it's that the games on offer aren't always the obvious or marketable choices. ActRaiser is one such oddball curio and Gain Ground, while sharing absolutely nothing in common in gameplay terms, is another bizarre "lost" title that would otherwise have been forgotton.

If Gauntlet, Robotron and Dead Rising all fell into Jeff Goldblum's teleportation pod, this is the inside-out baboon of a game that would emerge. It's a top-down action fantasy game in which you must rescue prisoners, and dodge or kill enemy warriors, before leading your trail of survivors to the exit. Rescued characters, of which there are twenty, can then be selected for future levels.

9

There are elements of RPG in the different character classes, and the statistical benefits thereof. There's a definite shoot-'em-up element in the often frantic scrambles to clear the level of bad guys. And there's even an element of RTS in the later levels (there are 50 in all) as you plot the best way past strongholds of tiny sword waggling foes.

As with ActRaiser, this isn't a download for those averse to quirky genre-muddling oddities - and nor does it really justify its 800-point price tag - but I'd be lying if I said that fans of gaming's weird forgotten corners wouldn't have a lot of fun with this.

7/10

Vigilante

  • Platform: TurboGrafx16
  • Wii Points: 600

With Streets of Rage and Final Fight already on offer, the VC isn't short of solid side-scrolling beat-'em-ups. You can therefore safely skip past this middling effort from Irem, which benefits from the more arcadey aesthetic of the TG16 but is dragged down by uninspired gameplay and some troubling collision detection.

10

Much like Splatterhouse, torn asunder by the power of my column last week, Vigilante takes a linear genre framework and manages to make it even more on-rails than before. With no freedom of movement up or down, all you can do is move from left to right, using flurries of punches and kicks to clobber the cloned skinheads who helpfully march towards you in single file.

There are a few weapons to pick up, but it all becomes monotonous long before you reach the bug-ridden boss fights, where victory can be won by trapping them in a corner and hitting the same button over and over.

2/10

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